In tonights Eastern Conference matchup, we will see Miami Heat heat hosting Washington Wizards at American Airlines Arena, Miami.
The home side, Miami Heat are currently 6th in the East with an overall record of 18-18. Looking at their last 5 games, Miami has won 3; against Orlando Magic (91:115), Cleveland Cavaliers (118:94) and again in a rematch against Cleveland Cavaliers (92:117). Miami, however, failed to win against Toronto Raptors (104:106) and Minnesota Timberwolves (104:113). Despite a mediocre 3-2 in the last 5 games, Heat is doing well, as they are 7-2 in the last 9 games. Looking at their most recent match against Cavaliers, Heat managed to repeat their performance from a few days prior when they hosted Cavaliers in Miami. The first quarter saw Cavaliers with a much higher FG% (50%) compared to Miami (34.8%), however, Cleveland still finished only 1 point ahead of Heat by the end of the first 12 minutes. The second quarter was completely in Heat favour, who dominated Cleveland and outscored them by 16 points (20:36). With a spectacular performance from Heat in the 2nd quarter, the teams went into the 2nd half of the match 15 points apart (43:58). Cavaliers tried to catch up to Miami in the remaining 2 quarters, however, they failed to come even close, as Heat managed to hold on to the double-digit lead for the remainder of the match. Final score: 92:117.
Washington Wizards are currently 11th in the East with an overall record of 15-23. In their last 5 games, Wizards lost 3; against Indiana Pacers (105:89), Detroit Pistons (106:95) and Chicago Bulls (92:101), but managed to win the next 2 matches against Charlotte Hornets (130:126) and Atlanta Hawks (114:98). The 2 consecutive wins were much-needed tor Wizards, who are still trying to figure out how to play without Wall, who will remain out for the rest of the season. Looking at how Wizards performed in their last match against Atlanta Hawks, Wizards ended the 1st quarter with a 6 point lead, to which they added another 5 by the end of the 2nd quarter. At this point the scoreline showed 64:53 for Washington and Atlanta had to prepare an answer in the 3rd quarter if they wanted to have a chance of winning the match, and they did. In the 3rd quarter, Atlanta played much better and managed to outscore Washington by 7 points, which was not enough to catch up to Washington, but got them close enough to make the last quarter interesting. The last quarter was interesting, but for all the wrong reasons. Atlanta shot terribly (27.3%) while Washington Wizards held a 44% accuracy from the field, in addition, they scored 42.9% of their 3pt attempts, while Atlanta did not attempt any 3 pointers. All that combined was enough for them to outscore Atlanta once again (26:14). The match ended with a final score of 114:98, which was the 2nd consecutive win for Wizards and 2nd consecutive defeat for the Hawks.
Despite the fact Washington Wizards are without Wall, they are not playing terribly, in fact, they performed quite good in their last 2 matches. Wizards play a fast-paced game, quite efficiently.. at least in the offensive end. One of their biggest problems is their rebounding, which is an issue they need to address. As of now, Washington is the 3rd worst team in the league when it comes to rebounding and the 2nd worst in defensive rebounding. This, of course, will be exploited by Miami, who are the 3rd best team in the league when it comes to offensive rebounding. Washington is not the best when it comes to defending, however, they know how to score points. Taking all into consideration, this should be a fast-paced match with plenty of scoring and I would be surprised if teams don’t pass the 215 point mark.
Prediction: Over 214.00 points
Odds: 2.03 Matchbook